Philip arrived ecstatically excited. Before he could talk about anything else, he burst out with the news of all news.
The news he had waited for his entire life. Infact the news his community and nation had waited for, for over 400 years.
He met his friend Nathanael with the sensational announcement, “We have found him… Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph!” (John 1:45)
Nathanael met Philip’s uncontained excitement with, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
What a wet blanket moment. Ever had one of those moments?
Super excited at an idea for your business, the results of a test, a life changing revelation just had as you encountered God, a brilliant discovery in the hardware shop to solve a problem you’d been working on for a week…
and it’s met with indifference, rejection, or even argument.
We’ve all had them and dare I say, all responded like this too. They provoke all kinds of emotions in us from shame to defensiveness to curiosity.
What do we do when we are shamed or mocked about something we’re excited about, convinced of and believe in?
We live in a culture that has changed. It’s a culture that most social scientists would agree is now a shamed based culture. Meaning that the behaviours and belief that people are living and wrestling with are around shame.
Shame is anything that says we are less than, that we are not … enough in.” Shame is an emotion and experience that re identifies us. It rumbles with our identity.
Philip’s response gives us a key, a way home through such moments.
He replied, “Come and see.” (John 1:46) What!!! What kind of response is that? What about being right and putting Nathanael in his place?!!
Philip chose to not stumble over Nathanael’s response. He chose not to be offended or shame Nathanael.
Instead Philip chose curiosity.
Curiosity is powerful! It invites us away from what we think or believe may be going on, into a space to learn more.
Curiosity is about connection and choosing connection over and above opinion.
This is also the power of honor. Philip honored Nathanael’s position and journey. He could see the person above the behaviour.
When Nathanael did encounter Jesus, Jesus continued his encounter with honour. He called out the gold in him, “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit.” (John 1:47)
No shame can stand when honor comes.
Jesus saw the person, and spoke to Nathanael’s identity. It changed the game, changed the narrative and changed Nathanael’s destiny.
Next time try curiosity. Try honouring the person above the behaviour. Gosh it can be hard but we can do hard things! This is really Living Courage!